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Merging shards

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Wizal the Fox, Apr 23, 2011.

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  1. Wizal the Fox

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    This is something I've always wondered and I posted already on this subject a few years ago, so I guess it's time to restart the topic.

    Originally when the game came out there was only one land (what is now known as Felucca) and most people were still using dial-up, the lag was already hard even if not connecting from the other side of the world. So in their wisdom the conceptors of the first MMORPG that was UO decided to split the world into several server sets and to give some sense to it all it even became a major part of the scenario: Sosaria was split into parallel worlds, the Shards, and the long term goal of the game lead by Lord British was to reunite the shards. Obviously the developpers knew that in the future both the technology and the land mass ingame would allow for shards to be reunited, at least progressively.

    Yet this never happened and no one has ever spoken about it officially.

    I suspect the cost of running the hardware has lowered to the point where they would maybe not save a lot by closing shards, especially since the GMs are already shared between them, and maybe they are afraid that people would think that merging some shards would be a sign of decline. Yet we now have 6 facets so on most shards the population is so diluted that the feeling is actually worse.

    At this point in time, what is the point of keeping so many shards open, especially in the same time zones?
     
  2. LiquidSolidity

    LiquidSolidity Adventurer
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    I think one of the main problems with merging shards would be that the players that were shifted would loose their houses. People would quit over this. Other than that I think it's a great idea, to increase population. I'm on oceania and it's very sad here...I went for a run this morning, saw no one and at least 3 possible castle placement spots. That's how dead it is. I wonder what they will eventually do? Will they just close shards and force people to move?
     
  3. canary

    canary Guest

    I can only imagine how those who spent $$ in Magincia recently would feel if they learned they'd lose their home due to a shard merger... just saying.
     
  4. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    Shard merges would be a DISASTER for the game and only goes to visibly prove that a game is failing. Add the housing issue into the mix (who gets to keep theirs who loses theirs) and you'll see UO go down the toilet faster than you can blink.

    Instead, shouldn't we be considering ways to bring more people into the game and actually REGROW the game instead of trying to redefine the game downwards?
     
  5. Wizal the Fox

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    Actually the game was always about merging the shards, it was the main goal from the start, so it's hardly redefining the game downwards.

    Housing issue is actually the ONLY problem I can think of, but I'm sure there are solutions. For a start there is of course enough room to relocate all houses (how could it not be, with less players and 6 facets instead of 1), just not necesserally at the same location.

    Note that I'm talking about merging shards 2 by 2 for a start.
     
  6. Tanivar

    Tanivar Crazed Zealot
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    Another consideration would be those Players who prefer the lower population shards and don't want to play on a more populated shard. I suspect forcing them to move to an over-populated (as it would be for them) shard would encourage them to leave the game as it's no longer as much fun due to the overcrowding caused by the shard merger.

    Some people enjoy being in crowds, some enjoy a little elbow-room, some like enough room to throw thier arms out wide without coming even close to smacking someone.
     
  7. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    I think decreasing the number of shards would give the initial appearance that player base is in a major decline, saying to newcomers, this game is dieing. Help keep the illusion alive please.
     
  8. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    An aspect of shard mergers that often seems to be overlooked would be the deletion of fully developed characters if all the character slots on an account are full or close to full on the shards that are to be merged. (Here's a post Poo made illustrating this point back in November: http://vboards.stratics.com/1861699-post23.html.)

    If a shard merger doesn't also include a good sized increase in character slots, players that would lose "excess" characters would not only lose the skills built up on those characters, but also all of the following aspects of such characters:

    • Every power and stat scroll these characters have used.
    • Every "entitlement" type of quest these characters have finished.
    • Every crafting recipe these characters learned.
    • All the loyalty points these characters compiled.
    • All the unused points these characters had compiled in the various community collections.
    • All the faction points these characters possessed.
    • Any special/unique titles these characters had earned.
    • Any special pets these characters owned that couldn't be handed off in round-about-fashion to the remaining characters on the account.

    Also, any herald NPCs or character-bound bless deeds the deleted characters owned would become useless. Things like guild officer status and house co-ownership (if you were lucky enough to have a house on the shard that survived) could also be terribly messed up with the loss of the "redundant" characters.

    Soul stones can obviously hold skills, if a player has the money/gold and the vet rewards to acquire enough of them for characters that are to be deleted. However, for many folks who have characters on multiple shards, some of which might be targeted for elimination in a shard merger, permanently losing other aspects of their characters other than their skills might be sufficient reason to just give up on playing, in spite of any so-called benefits that might be achieved through a shard merger.
     
  9. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    Here's the problem with house relocation. Given Spot A if you have two people who have had houses there and PREFER that their houses be in that location, who do you choose to keep and who gives it up? Compound it even further when talking about Luna houses and even more so as mentioned with New Magincia.
     
  10. silent

    silent Lore Master
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    This is kinda out there but to resolve the housing issue make the placeable locations larger. Make Luna larger to accommodate the additional houses that would need to move. Make any area that has housing larger so the "mirror" house could also fit. I'm sure this would be a huge effort since the map would change.
     
  11. RL'S pker

    RL'S pker Sage
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    I've posted in the past also about merging shards. Personally I think it's a great idea, and would benifit my play style....


    However, I know it would do harm to a vast majority of the current player base. people have invested a lot of time into their houses, and current communities.

    What I would like to suggest is maybe make certain area's in fell connected between all servers(east with east, and west with west...)

    give everyone a champ spawn to fight over, or something...

    I've no clue if that's even possible, but it would be fun. Although, they would have to figure something out to prevent people from using it to transfer items from shard to shard.
     
  12. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    This was addressed in the Video House of Commons.

    They are pretty clearly not gonna do it.

    Games that have merged servers depend on having a lot of people to make your experience fun.

    Whereas with UO, though some people like high populations, some seem to like having small communities.

    And if you like a large population you can always go to a more populated shard.

    All in all it would appear to gain them very little and lose them a lot.

    To put it more bluntly: More people would be pissed off than would be pleased.

    They pretty clearly had thought about it. EA is cheap. If it would increase their profit margin to merge shards they would have done it by now.

    If big population is important to your experience, then go to a larger shard.

    -Galen's player
     
  13. chuckoatl

    chuckoatl Guest

    I think you could share T2A and dungeons between shards. Would be a blast to have giant 5 shard despise battles. People would actually start doing the T2A spawns again too.
     
  14. Wizal the Fox

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    The character slots question is relatively easy to fix: let player choose which chars he wishes to transfer to the new "merged shard" and let him transfer the other ones to another shard (since we are talking about merging shards 2 by 2, not merging all shards for now). Nothing lost in the process.

    For the housing question, several approaches can be taken:

    Option 1: Duplicate within the new merged shard all facets having housing. I don't think it would be the best idea but it would work: all houses stay at the same location and the dungeon facet isn't duplicated so there is still some benefit. Basically we end up with 10 facets instead of 6. Again I don't like this idea very much because the world would be way too big, having 4 Britannia (2 Trammel + 2 Felucca) would be confusing, and most importantly it would be a one shot (ok for 2 shards, but what if you want to continue the merging after? duplicate facets again?)

    Option 2: All houses of both shards are randomly redistributed within the new merged shard. Basically you keep your house the way it is but not a the same place. This will **** off Luna vendors who will have to rebuy the location they want to the lucky player who would have inherited it, but that's not really very different from the Magincia lottery, and Luna vendors can afford it anyway.

    Option 3: Same as option 2, but people can select for a price to keep the location of their current house. This will work "auction style": location in the 2 shards have a house, if one owner wants to be sure to keep it he places a bid, if both place a bid the highest will keep the location and the looser will have his house moved randomly like the other ones. This will make sure someone who really wants to keep his location can do it, and that will be another good gold sink.

    There are probably more ideas, but as you can see it IS doable.

    As for the one who noted that some people like to play on not-overcrowded shards, I agree, but I guess you have no idea how empty some shards are. Now of course if you play on Atlantic you can't understand what I'm talking about, but I hardly see how merging, say Europa and Drachenfels, would make the new shard overcrowded.

    Anyone who pretends that the merging would be a bad idea because it would make shards overcrowded is just lying and is either someone who's afraid to loose the location of his house either someone who's doing xshard trading business. There is ZERO other reason to prefer to have more shards than less, otherwise following that logic let's just open 40 or 50 more shards and see what happens. Hell even on the biggest shard you can go from one end of the Lost Land or Illsh to the other without crossing a single player!

    As for the comment saying in essence "just go to another shard!":

    Many people have not chosen their shard, or have chosen it by default because there wasn't a shard in their area initially, or the situation has changed (connectivity, crowd) and they are now stuck because moving is not easy, for a start it costs of fortune to buy transfer tokens for all your chars - actually I have never understood why they make you pay to transfer chars, it should be free but limited to once every x months - And I speak as someone who started on Atlantic because there was no shard in Europe, then restarted the game from scratch on Europa (there was no char transfer option), then moved myself to the US lol: During those last 13 years I've relocated overseas 4 times and I can say that it is actually easier irl than in the game. Crazy... but I disgress...

    To the couple of people wanting to share dungeons between shards: I doubt this is doable technically, because that would mean interconnecting the servers managing the characters from both shards, and they are not at the same location by definition. What you ask would mean to technically merge the shards but still let them appear separately in the game. What would be the point?
     
  15. Bill420

    Bill420 Guest

    They should instead offer a one time transfer for all chars to the shard of your choice and include a moving box in your bank. This way people can choose if they want to go to a more populated shard or not.
     
  16. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    I don't see the point in going to all the trouble. Not to mention many people would quit after losing their housing spot. Many people worked long and hard to get houses in special/good areas, and just saying, well, have a house in malas instead is not going to fly.
     
  17. kulder

    kulder Lore Keeper
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    I have a Keep north of Shame all by itself no neighbors, why would I want to move to another shard and probably get stuck in the ghetto that is Malas
     
  18. FishinFool

    FishinFool Guest

    Pure speculation, of course, but I doubt this will ever happen as I see this as an all or nothing endeavor.

    As you stated, they probably would not save all that much by shutting down shards.

    Planning and executing it, with an emphesis on trying to accomodate players - ergo saving accounts, would take a disproportionate amount of time compated to any benefits.

    The only way of doing this with a minimum of fuss on their part would be to hand out a number of account locked, xfer tokens per account on the affected shard and tell people they have a choice to make. Clearly this would cost accounts.

    In the end, I see a total game shutdown to be much more likely when this point is reached.
     
  19. Shakkar

    Shakkar Guest

    with shards expanding in all time zones. I think the game will end before shards are merged. however someone brought up a sorta valid point. why can we not have a new land that has one or both fel and tram rulesets that all shards can click and go to the same place. of course no item may be droped or traded in this new land.In fact it could have giant pvp arena with intershard contest. the only thing I see a propblem would be the exchanging of items in this intershard area.other than that it could bring a interesting carnival atmosphere. with possibly extreme delight.:danceb:make it with shard citys where you can access ur bank in said shard city.I like this idea.:thumbsup:
     
  20. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    :bdh:

    This has been asked before. Just search UOStratics Forums. Why do people post this stuff like they just had the best idea ever for UO? We have been there and done that. Devs also said that this would never happen. It would be the death of UO.

    If you are on a low population shard then please feal free to transfer all your chars to a new shard.

    IMHO this(shard mergers) and wiping shards/gold are the dumbest ideas ever posted in 13 years I have heard.
     
  21. Wizal the Fox

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    unsubstantiated claim

    Please feel free to hand me 7 char transfer token.

    Tell that to Richard Garriott, I'm not the one who wrote the initial script of UO whose goal was to reunite the Shards of the Gem of Immortality.
     
  22. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Where did you hear the DEVS said it wouldnt happen? You watch the VHOC? They said it was possible but you wouldnt hear or have any updates, fixes and patches for a year. I highly doubt it would happen because it be cheaper to shut down UO before trying that. Thats just my opinion but the DEVS always seem to surprise us somehow.
     
  23. Wizal the Fox

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    Actually I just had an illumination:

    They are following Ultima storyline right? After Ultima V (Warriors of Destiny) we are currently living the events of Ultima VI (the Gargoyle/Abyss scenario).

    As UO.com stated "history cannot be denied. It may be diverted, delayed - even altered to a degree - but never denied."

    So soon should logically be Ultima VII, with the rise of The Fellowship and The Guardian, and Serpent's Isle. That may take a couple of years.

    And guess what's after that? Ultima VIII: Pagan! We will all be transported to the world of Pagan, leaving Britannia behind, and Pagan could well be a unique Shard.

    Then we will return to Britannia (Ultima IX: Ascension), completely changed as the Guardian will have taken control, and that could also well be a unique Shard.

    Actually that would be a perfect way to upgrade UO while keeping in line with Ultima Lore.
    People would keep their chars, and all the possession they can carry - I suspect there would be some kind of magical box holding more than a backpack, and no house problems since everyone would be send to Pagan for a couple of years !!! :)
     
  24. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Shard mergers is a topic which is brought up frequently. The developers have responded to the suggestion consistently and unequivocally 'no'.

    All such threads do is create a flamefest. This flamefest is therefore doused

    [​IMG]
     
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